Victimas del Dr. Cerebro Show comes to San Diego

Videos by Estevan X. Barrios

In the mix of the sick shows going down in San Diego this summer, Victimas Del Dr. Cerebro made their second stop on their USA tour on Wednesday, July 12. Originating from Nezahualcoyotl, a city in Mexico’s capital, the band played a mix of old and new songs. The tour, in support of the group’s new album, “El rey de los monstruos”  (Cerebro Records / Dragora 2017), released earlier this year, started in early July.

I was lucky enough to talk to the band. The group is extremely excited about their new members: Adrian Toussaint (guitar) and Julian Andre (drums). Also new to this tour, dancer Priscilla adds excitement to the live performance as she jumps and writhes around the stage dressed as a monster.

Videos by Estevan X. Barrios

After more than 25 years together the band continues to have notoriety. But, thanks to hard work and dedication, the group is now touring for their ninth album. Founding members include father and son duo Jesus Flores “El Chipotle” (keyboard, saxophone, and vocals) and Ricardo Flores “El Abulon” (vocals and keyboard). Brothers Arturo Flores “El Tuco” (bass) and Daniel Flores “El Ranas” (guitar) are also founding members of the band.

El Tuco said the new members have added to the band’s already solid foundation. He mentioned that the side projects of all the members have also helped the band continue to constantly reinvent itself.

Abulon explained that Las Victimas are not a band of one genre.  They don’t limit themselves, and there is room for all genres in the music they make, Abulon stated. They want to show people that there is more to music than electronic, electronic pop, pop rock, and other mainstream genres. In that quest, the group continues to make music with sounds they like and have never heard before. They are bringing in a new era of rock.

This band is a family in itself, and it will be interesting to see how they continue to grow. Thanks for reading, and make sure to check out their new album, “El rey de los monstruos.”

An Interview With Party Favor

On June 25, the second day of the ID10T Festival at Shoreline Amphitheater, I sat down to talk to the EDM artist Party Favor about his fans, touring and of course, music.

KCR: First of all, congratulations on a great set tonight!

PF:  Oh, thank you, you’re too kind.  It was fun!

KCR: So, you went on tour last year and you’re playing quite a few dates this summer. How’s that been going?

PF: It’s been amazing.  I had my first Friday off last weekend and it felt great.  [Touring] is awesome. I’ve been doing this for a long time and as a musician, in any genre, you can only hope to tour a lot – but it’s definitely very taxing on you.  For shows like this though, where I can come up here (I live in LA) – the Bay is so close and they always show me so much love.  I’m very happy to be here.

KCR: What’s your favorite place that you’ve visited so far?  I saw that you’ve been all over the world recently.

PF:  Yes, oh man, I’d say Myanmar was really cool.  It was a country that was extremely closed-off. Until about five years ago, they hadn’t opened their borders. They didn’t have internet.  It was so neat to be there, and all these kids knew all the words to the songs [I mixed] and to my songs. There was so much energy I couldn’t believe it.  They had been in the dark for so long and they caught up so quickly. And it was a really cool country too.

KCR: Do you have any good tour stories from when you were abroad?

PF: Tour stories from when I was abroad?

KCR: Or just in general.

PF: I have other tour stories.  I don’t know if they’re appropriate for radio (laughs), but abroad was pretty cool.  In Japan, I was out in the Shibuya area, which is a huge shopping area.  So, I was out there walking around and I had three different people, all separate, come and find me on the street in this huge area where there’s hundreds-of-thousands of people walking around, because of my Snapchats.  Some girl brought me a picture she had painted of me. So it’s just really neat. I would never have thought that in some other country halfway around the world someone would have painted my likeness, and taken their own time to do that.  It’s humbling. But, it’s also super weird.  I’m like “wow” – I don’t know how to handle it.

KCR: So you went to Chapman–

PF: I did.

KCR: –and you studied film. How do you incorporate that into what you do now.  Do you incorporate it at all?

PF: I do. I mean, when I first started I was hands-on with my videos. I was like a video Nazi. I would want it just like this. I would edit my own videos and things like that. But, over time, I’ve released control and let other people edit. When I was first getting started in music I started by sampling [music] kind of similar to how I would edit a film. So, it was a nice transition even though I had never had a musical background. It worked out. It was meant to be.

KCR: And now your songs are getting in commercials and stuff too.

PF:  Yeah the irony is awesome.  Knock-on-wood, let’s keep it going.

KCR: You also listen to a lot of different genres – from when you were growing up to now. Do you incorporate those into your music?

PF:  I try to. I think that if [the many genres] don’t necessarily come through in my music, they come through in my sets.  I try to always be super diverse in what I play.  And I always try to respond to where I’m at – you know – If I’m in the Bay I always play some Thizz music. I think for me, I just like anything that makes me feel good.  So, it doesn’t matter what genre – if it’s rap, if it’s metal, if it’s Cali dub – I just like to make people feel good. If my music can do that, then I’ve done my job.

KCR: Speaking of genres, on your Facebook page it says “no genre.”  Do you wanna talk a little about that philosophy?

PF: My management’s fired, they messed up (laughs). No, you know, I think in this day and age, at least for me, to say “oh I’m this,” [would be pointless], because I don’t like being labeled and I don’t think a lot of people do. There’s so much you can do with music and for me, with “dance music,” you’re not necessarily rock and roll, you’re not blues, you can do so much. I can play dubstep, I can play deep house, I can play whatever, or make that if I want to. Having no genre enables me to be anything.

KCR: Do you have any upcoming plans for an album after putting out the EP that you did?  Or maybe another EP?

PF: I would love to, and I’ve talked with my management about doing another one this fall.  I’ve definitely got material. But I think in this day and age it’s so hard to do EPs, especially albums, because people’s focus is on one song and that’s it.  With streaming, the good thing is that you have access to a million songs, but unfortunately artists can work 7,8 months, sometimes a year, on an album and then people hear your stuff and two weeks later they go “Where’s your new stuff? Where’s your new song?” So it’s easier to put all your focus and energy into a single and say “Hey, focus on this, this is my new song, let’s put all our energy into this.” I’ll play new music at my shows but keep the focus on one thing.

KCR: Who are you listening to right now?  What’s on your playlist?

PF: I’m listening to the new 2Chainz album, it’s awesome. “Pretty Girls Love Trap Music” is what it’s called.  Seems to be the case (laughs). I was just listening to AC/DC on the plane here, and that always gets me fired up.  So a little bit of everything.  I’ve definitely been listening to a lot of hip hop, but I love classic rock so I’ll always put that on.

KCR:  Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

PF:  Oh man.  I don’t know.  Rick Rubin, he’s a producer from the stars.  He’s a hit-maker.  Or maybe Max Martin from Sweden.  But I’m not really a popstar so I don’t know if that’ll happen.  Unless I take a pop career.  I’ll be the new Jonas Brother or something.

KCR: That could be your genre.

PF: Yeah, Jonas Brother!  I’ll change it.

KCR:  Any last thoughts?

PF: Shout-out to San Diego, I love you.  Coming back soon to Bassmnt, let’s get sweaty.

Make sure to see him on Saturday, July 23, at Bassmnt. Get your tickets here.

Featured Image by Sarah Anderson.

DLD Rocks San Diego

On Monday, May 29, I had the opportunity to cover the concert of a band that exemplifies perseverance, determination and of course, passion. Few Mexican bands get to go on tour in the United States, but DLD is one of them. During an intimate interview on their tour bus, the members of the band, Francisco, Erik, Edgar, Keno and Sergio, agreed on one thing: the essence of DLD goes beyond what words can define.

DLD was formed in the late ’90s in The State of Mexico with the name Dildo. After they gained popularity, especially in the US, they had to come up with a more appropriate, kid-friendly name for the band. However, they did not want to radically change the band’s identity; so they abbreviated their former name to DLD. Despite this change, the band still considers Dildo to be their authentic name.

Some people may argue that DLD is a purely alternative rock band, while others may say that they play pop rock. These assumptions are neither right nor wrong. The truth is, according to the band, DLD enjoys playing a little bit of everything, which  is what makes them so unique and powerful as a group. As a result, DLD has attracted a heterogeneous audience that ranges from young teenagers to grown adults – all of whom sing along, together, at the band’s shows. The amazing audience in San Diego was no exception.

This was not the first time that DLD performed in San Diego. However, this occasion was particularly special since they are promoting their sixth album “Futura.” “Futura” is an album significantly different from their previous records. It was recorded in Cancun, Mexico, a heavenly place where the band felt like they were more connected to nature. This allowed the group to create more fresh and breathtaking songs. When I asked the group which track was their favorite, they could not agree on one particular song, because the album has so much variety.

The DLD US Tour started in El Paso, where they performed at the Neon Desert Music Festival. San Diego was their second destination. They also performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

People started to get in line outside The Casbah around 7 p.m., even though the concert began at 10:30 p.m. DLD opened with “A Distancia,” a song from their album “Primario,” released in 2012. Before they started playing, Francisco (the lead singer of the band) said to his fans, “We’re gonna f*ing rock The Casbah… I’ve always wanted to say this.” After these words, an amazing night, full of contagious energy, began.

As the night went on, the audience got fired up listening to their favorite songs from the album “Futura,” which included “Estaré,” “Sigo Siendo Yo” and “Las Cruzadas.” However, the mood changed suddenly as soon as the band started performing “Reencuentro,” a song dedicated to a former band member who passed away. The narrative of this song and the emotion with which DLD played it touched the hearts of the whole crowd at The Casbah, who sang along.

The band left their most famous hits, such as “Mi Vida” and “Todo Cuenta,” for the second half of the concert. The last song they played was “Por Siempre,” magically closing the concert in a way that left the audience craving more.

The concert that DLD gave to their public was more than just a night of rock.  It was a night where people could escape from reality and let the music flow into their veins and their hearts.

It is hard for me to recount the numerous times that DLD thanked their public for their unconditional support. This proves that DLD is not only talented, but also humble and grateful. The band made it clear that without the support of their fans, the Futura US Tour 2017 would’ve been impossible.

DLD is now crossing borders, and there’s no stopping them.

Check out DLD more here, on their website.

Behind the Mic: Matt Hoffman & Anthony Reclusado

Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado pose in the Student Union at SDSU.

When people hear “the face of KCR,” they might think of KCR’s logo or the events KCR takes part in or puts on. But, members of KCR, some who have been around for years, probably think of General Manager Matt Hoffman and Programming Director Anthony Reclusado as the face of the organization. Members of KCR for nearly four years now, the roommates have held their management positions for half of that time and have greatly contributed to the radio station. I caught up with Matt and Anthony before their graduation for the last Behind the Mic of the spring semester. 

The pair made their debut on KCR in spring 2014 with “Delay of Game,” a show they have had on-air up to their final days as seniors. Anthony told me that during the fall semester of 2013, they contributed to “Aztec Circle,” a group sports show on KCR, because the two joined halfway through the semester and weren’t given their own time on-air.

Since beginning “Delay of Game,” Anthony explained that they have localized their sports coverage to San Diego. Listeners would have heard nearly an hour of Padres, Chargers, Gulls and Aztecs coverage every week. Matt described a headline segment, “Quick Shots,” that concluded each show. During this short period, Matt and Anthony would bring up national sports headlines and break them down, giving their opinions.

Prior to the move, each show began with the Chargers, with Aztec Football quickly following. Game recaps, injury reports and other player news all made up the usual discussions.

“We shoot for quality and consistency — that’s why the show is still here seven semesters later,” Matt explained. Anthony added that dedication made their show stand out, with Matt giving an example of a basketball ticket giveaway they conducted on-air a few years ago, requiring the two to wake up at 4 a.m. to stand in line for the tickets.

Matt and Anthony holding awards in the KCR studio.

KCR has won an array of awards while Matt and Anthony have served on management. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.

Matt has served as General Manager of KCR for two years, and prior to that (as a sophomore) he was Program Director. According to Matt, he spent the summer between management positions renovating the KCR studio. He collaborated with iHeartMedia to construct the current studio, which has professional equipment and safer furniture. “It all helps with the professionalism,” Anthony added.

The following summer, Matt worked to open a second studio: the production studio in the basement of EBA.

The culture of KCR has totally changed since their freshman year, according to both Anthony and Matt. “As soon as that studio changed, everything else changed,” added Anthony.

“It’s a lot bigger than it probably has ever been,” said Matt, referencing the sheer size of KCR’s current membership.

Matt described how amazing it is to see members of KCR, past and present, earn internships and obtain positions in the media industry, noting that KCR was the starting point for many. Getting people interested in radio has been one of Matt’s responsibilities. He mentioned current Production Director at KCR, Jack Sellas, as an example. Jack became an active member, obtained a management position and is now looking at radio as a potential career.

“KCR will always be a part of my life,” said Anthony.

Matt currently works as a news assistant at KPBS, where he also covers on-air stories. Additionally, Matt is a writer and producer for the morning shows at NBC 7 San Diego. After his upcoming graduation in May, Matt plans on working full-time at NBC.

Anthony has worked with Matt as Program Director for two years. During his senior year, Anthony served as Sports Editor for The Daily Aztec. He currently interns at FOX 5 San Diego, and will move back to the Bay Area after graduation to continue his media career. 

Featured Image: Matt Hoffman and Anthony Reclusado are preparing for their graduation in May and departure from KCR. Photo by Amir Badeanlo.